SAN DIEGO, CA — Today, in an attempt to go around Congress and the American people, President Trump has declared a national emergency to get what he wants—his vanity wall and even more militarization at the border regardless of what the country needs.
During the announcement, he invoked the National Emergency Act to build a border wall for “invasion purposes.” In doing so he ignored the reality of record low migration, conflated asylum seekers with criminals, and used racially coded fear to justify taking this extreme action. The president has clearly crossed a line. The National Emergency Act was created by Congress for real emergencies, not to be used by the president to go around Congress for fake emergencies.
Trump’s declaration comes after Congress voted yesterday to pass a budget that funds 55 miles of deadly, harmful and wasteful wall and further fuels the president’s deportation machine. Trump had asked for more — a lot more — but Congress, which has the constitutional authority to spend the people’s money, said No. Trump’s attempt to bypass Congress with an emergency declaration is an egregious abuse of power and we must stop it.
Andrea Guerrero, executive director of Alliance San Diego, issued the following statement:
“President Trump has triggered a constitutional crisis by declaring a fake ‘national emergency’ in order to circumvent Congress. This declaration is an abuse of power that threatens to erode our democracy. There is no security crisis at our southern border, but there is constitutional crisis emerging in the White House. If the president is allowed to abuse his power to marshall military resources to build a wall that harms our communities and our environment, and bypass Congress to do it, this country will move one step closer to an authoritarian government. Today, Trump invokes his power to build his vanity wall. Tomorrow, if left unchecked, he could use it to suppress voting at polling locations pointing to fake ‘voter fraud’ as his rationale. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and we must not let that happen. We must hold this president accountable.
In this dark moment of uncertainty, Alliance San Diego is calling upon members of Congress to restore the checks and balances that keep us safe from tyranny. Under the National Emergency Act, Congress can overturn the president’s declaration, and Rep. Joaquin Castro, the head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, has initiated a resolution to do so.
We invite the community to sign this petition to call on Congress to end the national emergency and stop Trump’s dangerous overreach. Trump’s emergency declaration to build more walls and further militarize our border region will have immediate and long lasting impact on our communities. It also poses an existential threat to democracy and human rights everywhere in the country.”
Background on Congressional Authority to Terminate Emergency Declaration
The National Emergencies Act (NEA) includes a process by which Congress can terminate a national emergency through expedited legislative procedures by enacting a joint resolution. Under the NEA, a joint resolution to terminate a declared national emergency must be reported out of the committee of jurisdiction within 15 calendar days and considered on the floor within 3 calendar days after being reported. The joint resolution must then be referred to the appropriate committee of the Senate with an identical expedited process and timeline.
About Alliance San Diego
Alliance San Diego is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) community empowerment organization working to ensure that all people can achieve their full potential in an environment of harmony, safety, equality, and justice. Our mission is to provide a means for diverse individuals and organizations to share information, collaborate on issues and mobilize for change in the pursuit of social justice, especially in low-income communities and communities of color. We pursue this mission through targeted civic engagement programs and strategic coalitions that focus on specific issues and policy reforms.